Buddhist relics on display during April 13 Songkran parade

Friday, 11 April 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 15 By  Jetsada Homklin & Warunya Thongrod

Pattaya’s devout will be given a chance to sprinkle holy water on Buddhist relics from the Sanctuary of Truth during a Songkran parade through the city.

Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay and area tourism officials put the finishing touches on plans for the April 13 parade from the wooden temple in Naklua at an April 1 meeting.

Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay and area tourism officials put the finishing touches on plans for the April 13 parade from the wooden temple in Naklua at an April 1 meeting.Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay and area tourism officials put the finishing touches on plans for the April 13 parade from the wooden temple in Naklua at an April 1 meeting.

The Busabok Stupa, which stands in the Sanctuary of Truth’s Central Hall, has relics of Lord Buddha stored at the top, symbolizing enlightenment. They were presented to the temple in April 2009 by the late Supreme Patriarch of Thailand.

Pattaya, with the Chonburi Monk’s Committee, Chonburi National Office of Buddhism, and Buddhist Association of Chonburi, have organized the parade to give residents and tourists an opportunity to pour holy water on the relics on Songkran Day to wish for prosperity and increase one’s glory leading to success according to Buddhism beliefs.

The 40-car parade will take a long route throughout the entire Naklua-Pattaya-Jomtien area beginning at 7 a.m. at the Sanctuary of Truth. The route heads toward the New Naklua Market then turns on Sukhumvit Road to the Krathinglai intersection heading down North Road to Beach Road, where it will join the larger Songkran parade with representatives from Pattaya’s 42 neighborhoods.

The parade moves down Beach Road until Walking Street where it turns left and stops at Chaimongkol Temple for water-pouring. The parade then will move toward Jomtien Beach where the parade will stop again for people to pour holy water at Krathung Thong Temple.

The parade will continue to the Pattaya Floating Market before returning to Second Road where people can again pour water on the relics at Mike Shopping Mall and Central Festival Pattaya Beach. The parade then resumes, heading to Lan Po Park and back to the Sanctuary of Truth. In all, the parade will make eight water-pouring stops.

Despite the extraordinary length of the parade route, only Beach Road between Central and South roads will be closed to traffic during the April 13 parade. The rest of the route will see police simply block off intersections as the parade moves through.

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